After several years of mitigating the effect of drought, heat, and wildfires, 2023 has provided Frank Family Winemaker, Todd Graff with some much-needed relief in the form of replenishing rain and a relatively cool growing season. This winter brought an historic 70 inches of rain that refilled most reservoirs and lakes to full capacity and took Napa Valley out of the drought.
Come budbreak this spring, the moisture in the soil had been restored, thereby reducing our need for irrigation throughout the summer months. This combined with cooler weather has slowed the development of the grapes, who are taking their time to beautifully ripen.
“Harvest is about three weeks behind schedule compared to the last couple years. I don’t want to jinx it but I may get my first Labor Day off in 20 years,” jokes Todd. He predicts the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for our sparkling wines will start rolling in towards the end of the first week of September, with Pinot Noir grapes for our Leslie Rosé to be right behind it.
Despite all the rain, this vintage is looking bright with a crop size that is returning to balance after a few recent light years. “Everything is looking perfect right now and I think we are set for a great harvest,” says Todd. “I only hope Mother Nature stays the course as we still have more of the season to go.”